Sunday, September 27, 2009

Birthday Celebration

I went back to Las Vegas for my mom's birthday weekend. As soon as we landed, we went straight to Burger Bar for a late dinner. We went straight to the bar back to grab out usual seats. One of the tables behind us was filled with kids eating burgers and milkshakes. I noticed that a few of the televisions were tuned to Dancing with the Stars. I found this odd, but I figured the kids preferred this to the usual ESPN channels. Suddenly the kids were yelling and screaming at the televisions. They were rooting the cast of the Lion King (who perform nightly at the Mandalay Bay Hotel). Not only were they cheering, they were yelling out names of the cast. These were the kids from the cast! How cool!

Asahi, Black Lager
Smooth, stout like brew with a mellow, yet deep taste. Delicious!

Low Carb Burger
Instead of bread buns, the Country Natural beef was between portobello mushrooms and a bed of asparagus.

Buffalo with Caramelized Onions, Angus with Bacon, and Country Natural with Cheddar.

The next day, we went to the Venetian Hotel to eat at Enoteca San Marco, Mario Batali's restaurant.

The Inside

Friulano Bastianich, Friuli, 2007
A refreshing white to pair with the meal. This wine is produced by the Bastianich family (as in Lydia Bastianich, chef and business partner of Batali).

Acetaia, "Vinegar Maker's Salad"
Covered with Prosciutto. The prosciutto was delicate and delicious.

Bucatini all'Amatriciana
With tomato, cured pork, and onions. The pastas here are cooked perfectly al dente, and the sauce nicely coats it.

Linguine con Le Cozze
With mussels, saffrom, and marjoram (an herb). Another tasty and light pasta!

For the big dinner, my family and I ate at Hubert Keller's Fleur de Lys in the Mandalay Bay Hotel. I've eaten at his San Francisco restaurant several times. This was my first time in his Las Vegas establishment. The night did not disappoint. Everything was beautiful and delicious!
Please note: I'm still awaiting the release of my new camera. For now I'm still using my older camera which doesn't take the best low lighting shots., and in nicer restaurants, I tend not to use flash.
The Tapas Menu
$80 for 12 items - such a great deal!

The Inside

Homemade Pickled Olives
I enjoyed this because it was not overly pickled and it tasted so fresh.

Onion Soup with Truffle Oil
A delicately blended soup. The truffle oil was a delicious touch. A great start.

Lightly coated vinagrette. It was salad, nothing really that special.

Hearts of Palm
Another refreshing salad. Delicate and creamy.

Spoons of Tuna Tartare
Fresh tuna with a light dressing. A refreshing spoonful.

A selection of cold cuts, such as spicy soppressata, soppressata, and prosciutto.

Croque Monsieur
One of the best croque monsieurs I've had! The crust was nice and crispy, and the cheese was oozing over. Mmm!

Potato Ravioli
The pasta was so light and fresh. The sauce was nice and deep, with a short rib taste. So good!

Fleur Sliders with Shoe String Potatoes
Kobe beef stuffed with blue cheese on a bed of Asian pears, with potato buns. This slider was far better than the ones in Burger Bar. So delicious!

Skirt Steak
With chimichurri sauce. Moist, tender, and well cooked meat with a delicate sauce.

Cheese Plate
Roquefort, Goat Cheese, and Sheep's Milk Cheese, with homemade honey.

The Breads for the Cheese
White chocolate bread and cranberry bread.

After we finished the Tapas Menu, we ordered a few more entrees. The tapas menu is generous, but we were a table of four so our stomachs were not quite full yet.
Citrus Glazed Halibut
Nicely cooked, and still rare inside.

Gently Heated Alaskan King Salmon
The plate of the night. The salmon was delicately cooked. Super delicious!

Stout Braised Beef Shortribs
A tasty cut of shortribs. The potato and carrot puree was so smooth and creamy.

Madeleines with a Chocolate Dipping Sauce
The madeleines are so light and airy, and crispy on the edges. It's the best madeleines I've had. The chocolate makes it even more delicious.

The Birthday Cake!
Srawberry mousse. It wasn't amazing, but it was good. A nice gesture for my mom's birthday.

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